Hawks' Bote does a little bit of everything

Boise infielder plays all the time, can play multiple spots.

clangrill@idahostatesman.comJune 29, 2013 

David Bote, left, was drafted by the Cubs in 2012, but it took him a while to learn the news. “I was on a mission trip with my brother and family and members of my hometown church,” Bote said. “So I was in an airport in Africa and my brother pulled it up on his computer and said, ‘Hey, congratulations. You were drafted.’ ”

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Through 14 games, Boise infielder David Bote had played in every contest this season.

Manager Gary Van Tol gave him the day off Friday - at least the first nine innings.

"You hate giving him a day off, because he doesn't want a day off," Van Tol said. "But it's a long grind, and he's earned it."

Bote, a 10th-inning substitute against the Eugene Emeralds on Friday, has been grinding since being selected by the Cubs in the 18th round of the 2012 draft.

He has played rookie ball in Mesa, Ariz. He's filled in for an injured player in the Cubs' High-A team in Daytona, Fla., and he played 17 games with Class A Kane County (Illinois) this spring before joining the Hawks this month.

He's played second base, shortstop, third, outfield - and even pitched an inning.

"From an organizational standpoint, he was able to go out and help some of those long-season clubs," Van Tol said. "Those guys are valuable. Those guys end up playing for a long time."

Bote would like nothing more than to play baseball for a long time. He eats, breathes and sleeps with baseball on his mind.

"My goal is to play like it's my last day every single day," said the 20-year-old from Thornton, Colo. "Even in practice, I want to practice like it's my last practice. That's how I approach every day. I just want to be able to look back and ask myself, 'Did I give it my all?' "

That can-do attitude has not been lost on the Hawks' coaching staff.

"He's one of those guys who helps you get excited to come to the ballpark every day as a coach," Van Tol said. "He's not a guy you need to light a fire under to get going, and from a coaching standpoint, you can't have enough of those guys."

Said Boise hitting coach Bill Buckner: "He's an awesome kid. He just wants to get better."

And after a slow start at the plate, Bote has gotten better. His batting average dipped to .154 after four games and .167 through seven games. But his bat has been coming around lately, and Bote's .292 average ranked second best on Boise's roster as of Friday night.

"He's getting a chance to play regularly here," Buckner said. "Right now, that's what's important for him."

After all his travels and position changes, Bote has played 13 of his 14 games at second base.

"As of right now, Boise is where I'm going to be," he said. "That's where I'm glad to be."

HAWKS WIN IN 10

Van Tol pushed the right buttons Friday at Memorial Stadium as the Hawks defeated the Emeralds 5-4 in 10 innings.

Van Tol brought in catcher Rony Rodriguez as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, when his team was trailing by a run and down to its final out.

Rodriguez came through with a solo home run to tie the score at 4-4.

After keeping Eugene at bay in the top of the tenth, Boise loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. First baseman Jacob Rogers then delivered a drive up the middle to score the winning run and get the crowd fired up for the postgame fireworks.

Center fielder Jacob Hannemann went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored. Matt Iannazzo (1-1) earned the win after tossing a hitless 10th inning.

OUTFIELDER CALLED UP: Kevin Encarnacion was sent to Kane County prior to Friday's game. He hit .298 with three doubles and two home runs in 13 games with the Hawks. He also had an eight-game hitting streak, the longest in the Northwest League this season.

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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